Do you like to tent camp? Yes? No? Maybe? It Depends?
I am a person who likes the IDEA of camping, more than camping itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, see creation, and experience things far from my ordinary world … but at the end of the day, I would strongly prefer to be in my bed at home.
Why is this? Well, I have yet to have a tent camping experience that gave me the same restful sleep as I can have in my climate controlled home and on my king bed. It has been my experience that it is very difficult to pack that mattress and central heat and air into a backpack I can reasonably carry … so when I hike, I long for the comfort of home. Can anyone relate?
Now, this is not to say that tents are not valuable. THEY ARE. If you want to hike the Appalachian Trail or see the summits of Half Dome (AND NOT TAKE OUT A SECOND MORTGAGE), then the tent is the way to go. If you plan to move from place to place nightly, taking your portable home with you by foot – the tent cannot be beaten. The tent is amazing at being portable … it is just not as plush and more prone to breaking down than its more permanent relative – “the house.”
I was thinking about this today as I looked at 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. These verses (written by a tent maker) talk about death, and what lies after. The Apostle Paul compares our current physical bodies to a tent, that (for the believer in Jesus Christ) will one day be traded in for a heavenly home.
Let’s play with this analogy for a moment …
When life in this world is going well, things are good … like taking my tent out on a 70 degree day and setting it down on a bed of soft/level pine straw; I see things I would not see otherwise, and enjoy the moment.
When life in this world is going poorly (health concerns, relational strife, financial burdens), things are good … like my tent springing a leak during a rainstorm on a cold night as I toss and turn over a root poking me in the back, I rejoice that in just a few moments, the pain of the night will be over, and a warm comfortable bed awaits me at home.
In 2 Corinthians 4-7, the Apostle Paul is encouraging us to not “lose heart” as we live out our Christian lives. One of the things that can cause us to lose heart is when we face death or deal with physical difficulties in life. Paul’s encouragement? This body is not your forever home … it is a tent that you will one day trade for a permanent home. So live now in light of where you will be then, and you will be of good courage, regardless the circumstances.
This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church in our 8:30, 9:45, and 11:00 services we will share the Lord’s Supper together, and look at part 2 of our “Mission: Endure” sermon series, looking at 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Hope to see you there … and bring friends!